Last night I got into a pretty heated conversation with a good friend. We most definitely have different parenting styles. She is raising robotic humans who jump on command and cannot decide on a candy if they are given a choice. They don’t have favorite toys or colors. They are essentially stoic from being broken down so low to the point of almost being dehumanized. YES> absolutely. she loves her kids! And to some degree difficult children need certain types of corrective action BUT when your children are awesome, caring, fun vessels of light, with huge imaginations….why would you put a cap on that?
All parents have to do what works for them. We all parent a little different. Some harsher. Some slacker. We all do what we know is right for us. BUT when you are on facebook ranting about how your not yet 5 year old refuses to eat…you have beat him, scolded him, offered rewards to him, and flat out ignored his existence…… WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU EXPECTING? Because quite honestly, I was confused. What do you want from him? Do you want him to want to eat his veggies? Do you want him to want to eat? OR are you trying to create food anxiety? I really don’t understand.
In comparison. She has a child that is almost two and mine is right up running a month behind him. They are almost exactly a month apart. Her child did not laugh until he was 18 months old. He doesn’t talk. He doesn’t show emotion. He doesn’t like to be held. He is just as content to sit in the corner and pretend he is alone same as my child would be jumping up and down asking to be held or screaming in delight. She (the friend) asked me a few months ago what I do to get my child to talk so well? And behave so nicely. My answer was “I lead by example and treat her like I would want to be treated. Within reason. I don’t ask her to talk to her dad about our divorce or to pick sides but I do show her she is responsible for her and that using her words helps me understand exactly what she needs.” I fuel my child to be successful in life. She went to school most of last week with pull-ups or underwear OVER her clothes…because she chose to. In the grand scheme of things…with something so simple what does it really matter? She was going to daycare not to meet the president….and even then I bet he would side with her making her own choices. The friend would not even entertain the idea that her children could possibly not want to wear what she has picked out for them. She wouldn’t even dream that they would possibly wake her up before they had gotten dressed, brushed their teeth, washed their faces, and prepared their own breakfast by 645am. For a 4 almost 5 year old and a 6 year old…thats big stuff. Not that they shouldn’t be able to get dressed (I mean she has the outfits out) but doing everything they need to by themselves without support or help or OPTION to nearly be themselves seems a little crazy. (Please wake me before you leave for the bus. and if you wake up the baby. its over for you).
Children are not soldiers. You do not have children so you can control someone’s life. You do not have children stair stacked when you know what prevents it and you don’t like the first two. You don’t have children when you beat them for not eating their veggies one night and reward them with whatever they want the next night IF they choose to eat them. Its not a democracy. It’s parenting. BUILD YOUR CHILDREN. They will someday be adults. Build your children because they are human. They are people. and you CHOSE to parent. The same way they choose not to eat.